In May of this year Alfa Romeo and Mazda made the surprise announcement
that the next-generation MX-5 Miata
would form the basis of a new Alfa Romeo model and that both cars would be built at Mazda’s plant in Hiroshima, Japan.
The only other details revealed were that production of the Alfa Romeo model would commence in 2015 and that it would be differentiated from its Mazda cousin through unique styling and its own drivetrain.
As we last reported, the details of the partnership are still being worked on, though a final and binding agreement is expected to be signed later this year.
We now have a few more possible details by way of a report on Car and Driver
The report suggests that the new Alfa Romeo model will revive the Duetto name and that it will be powered by a turbocharged and direct-injected 1,750-liter four-cylinder engine already found in some Fiat Group vehicles. This particular engine can develop up to 250 horsepower and also will be used for the limited edition Alfa Romeo 4C
that will serve as a halo model for the Italian brand.
The engine will be matched to either a six-speed manual transmission or dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters. Alfa Romeo is reportedly trying to convince Mazda to use the dual-clutch ‘box on its next MX-5, though the Japanese automaker has been reluctant to adopt the technology so far and remains focused on its own SKYACTIV-Drive range of automatics
The platform underpinning both cars will feature ultra-high tensile steel
to help shed the pounds, with some suggesting they could end up weighing in at around 2,300 pounds or less. Aluminum is also being employed for most of the suspension components.
We expect the next-generation Mazda MX-5 to hit showrooms in 2014, with the Alfa Romeo to follow one year later.
Alfa Romeo has long been rumored to be working on a new ‘Spider’
and even rolled out the stunning 2uettottanta convertible concept
in 2010 hinting at the possibility. Hopefully, the new Mazda-based model will herald a new age of affordable--and more reliable--sports car motoring for Alfa Romeo, exactly what the brand needs to spearhead its return to U.S. shores